SATA Working Group doubles signaling speed with new spec

Barcelona - The Serial ATA Working Group has announced the the specification for the second generation of SATA signaling speed which increases bandwidth to 3 Gbit/s. The release candidate has been submitted to the ratification process.

The new spec was officially published during the Intel Developer Forum in Barcelona, Spain, which takes place on April 20 and 21. The second-generation speed of 3 Gbit/s (300 MByte/s) is double that of the first-generation Serial ATA speed which is 1.5Gbit/s (150 MByte/s). Users, who already own SATA equipment do not need to purchase new cables and connectors in order take advantage of higher signaling speeds in upcoming second generation SATA devices.

According to Intel spokesman David Dickstein, the release candidate of the specification currently is in ratification. The process should take about 30 days. Dickstein believes that second generation SATA products will appear on shelves as early as the third quarter of this year.

In addition to doubling the speed for the internal PHY originally defined in the SATA 1.0 specification, the new specification also defines a higher-power version of it for longer-haul external datacenter use. The external phy version defined in the specification only impacts box-to-box and has been defined to match the electrical parameters for the SAS phy.

Also announced at IDF was that Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specification defining new cable and connector variants has been completed and the release candidate of that specification has started its ratification process.

Volume 2 of the cables and connectors specification adds several new cabling options, such as an internal multi-lane cable and connector assembly, an external consumer cable and connector solution for the use of SATA with external storage devices as well as an external multi-lane datacenter cable and connector solution for connecting multiple Serial ATA channels between chassis in a datacenter.